I have been somewhat enamored by Google Apps and its potential. Many enterprises have been happy with Exchange for mail, calendaring, contacts, and more. I have been one of those people. However, I have found Google Apps to be getting better and better for use in the enterprise and I will not be surprised to see it begin to take significantly larger chunk of market share from Microsoft over time.
Features are added quickly both through the web-based application (with zero-footprint) and through client applications like Google Sync. Google also makes some things so easy that I have no choice but to wonder what that simplicity is worth to me.
I recently decided to pop into the Google Apps Reporting API. Since we have a few new customers on Google Apps, I wanted to try to get a sense of what the usage and uptake was.
I first realized that there were a variety of choices — .NET, PHP, Java, Python, etc. — for accessing the API programmatically. I was able to quickly get a .NET example working, but the instructions and were geared to a client-based example…and of course, I wanted to display the reports on the web. So, I began to work with the PHP examples next. While I was fiddling with the PHP example, I continued my browsing on the web and began planning to incorporate the Google Charts API.
But before I wasted much more time with development, as minimal as it may have been, I found the Reporting Visualization API along with easy-to-follow documentation on how to display charts into iGoogle without any code. Moreover, the API can handle a query as input, allowing me minor customizations which is all I really needed to start.
I can see that disk usage has gone up over the last few days with a big jump on Wednesday…someone must have been uploading their old emails. I don’t find the report capabilities to be very powerful just yet, but it is easy to see that Google can add functionality quickly and make this an incredibly powerful tool.